What’s the greatest meal you’ve ever eaten? It probably didn’t take you long to recall that delicious meal. Now, what if you could cook the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten or better yet, be the source of someone else’s greatest meal? Here are a few cooking tips to make that a reality.

Being properly prepared is key to success in cooking for your family and friends. Make sure you have everything you need to make your food. It is not too much to get your meals ready the day before. Make sure you have the necessary utensils. Did you think of everything? Being prepared will settle your anxiety and ensure that you are ready to create a fantastic meal.

Leftover vegetable pieces shouldn’t go to waste. Broccoli tops, carrot pieces and onion peelings can be added to your vegetable, beef or chicken stock, to fill it with extra flavor. Don’t forget to add the stock to your favorite meals to enhance their flavor and appear as a great cook in front of your friends and family.

Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.

You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider with regard to changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers entirely, simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.

Use these tips as a springboard for your own cooking. Cooking is a never-ending journey, there’s always something new and fresh to learn and to try. Keep looking for ways to make meals special and one day, someone will remember you as the cook of the greatest thing that they’ve ever eaten.